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Northern Virginia Brewery Aslin Makes a Big Jump to Pittsburgh

Plus, Van Leeuwen Ice Cream expands to D.C., Capitol Hill gets a Ukrainian restaurant, cocktail bar Code Red is coming to Adams Morgan, and more intel 

The “Sunset 02” double IPA is Aslin’s second Pittsburgh beer release.
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Northern Virginia-born brewery Aslin Beer Co. quietly expanded up north in late 2022 with the addition of a production facility and taproom 260 miles away. As it turns out, the western Pennsylvania market has amassed a loyal fan following ever since Aslin started brewing in Herndon in 2015 and added an Alexandria outpost in 2019. “So when we looked to expand, [Pittsburgh] was our first inclination,” an Aslin rep tells Eater. In the works since 2021, Aslin Pittsburgh comes complete with a 10-barrel brewhouse, 7,000-square-foot taproom, and outdoor patio. There’s also an Aslin Coffee cafe, which debuted last summer as part of its breezy Logan Circle taproom. To drink, there’s drafts, to-go cans and bottles splashed with its psychedelic designs, and ongoing collaborations with Pittsburgh brewers. Situated in its hip, Union Market-like Strip District, the newest Aslin acts as its research-and-development home base to test out small-batch brews. The facility also tinkers with experimental techniques, brewing processes, and ingredients to make Aslin’s core crop of IPAs, sours, barrel-aged stouts, and open-fermented lagers.

Adams Morgan is getting another speakeasy

Meet Code Red, a Prohibition-era cocktail bar headed to Adams Morgan’s nightlife strip (2440 18th Street NW), per a D.C. liquor filing. Code Red comes from longtime Marriott GM Mark Namdar and takes the 84-seat space that housed Bom Korean Fried Chicken up until a year ago (and was Millie & Al’s before that). The surf-and-turf menu, listed as “Bill of Fare,” includes an abundance of apps and small plates like wagyu beef carpaccio, crispy artichokes, charcuterie, seared foie gras, tempura soft shell crab, chargrilled prawns, pork belly skewers, oysters three ways, smoked bone marrow, and Waldorf and lobster salads.

What started out of a yellow truck on NYC’s streets in 2008 is now a nationwide brand with over 40 stores.
Van Leeuwen Ice Cream

Van Leeuwen starts scooping ‘Marionberry Cheesecake’ in D.C. soon

NYC’s cult ice cream company Van Leeuwen breaks into D.C. with not one, but three, newly announced locations opening this spring and summer. Stores will show up in Union Market (418 Morse Street NE), Adams Morgan (2421 18th Street NW), and Georgetown (3245 Prospect Street NW). Look for over 30 dairy (and vegan) flavors like Honeycomb, Earl Grey tea, Sicilian pistachio, and Marionberry Cheesecake made with vine-ripened berries from Oregon’s Stahlbush Island Farms. Each outpost will also send out sundaes, ice cream sandwiches, root beer floats, milkshakes, and to-go pints.

New Ukrainian restaurant en route to D.C.

Ruta will open in March on Capitol Hill, a rep tells Eater (327 Seventh Street SE). Its executive chef Dima Martseniuk led the kitchen at NYC’s legendary Ukrainian restaurant Veselka for more than 12 years. The Food Network star, who’s competed on Guy’s Big Project and Beat Bobby Flay, will likely serve latkes in D.C. (he’s the three-time winner of the best potato pancake at the Latke Festival in New York). Also look for varenyky—stuffed potato dumplings—and red beetroot soup; Martseniuk calls himself an “ambassador of borscht” on his well-followed Instagram account. Ruta re-activates the recently vacated building that housed short-lived American tasting room Newland.

Tacos descend on Dupont and Chinatown

Signage is up for Dos Toros Taqueria to backfill the old Philz Coffee in Dupont. Founded by two brothers from NorCal, the NYC-wide chain serves burritos, bowls, tacos, nachos, and seasonal offerings like a spiced sweet potato bowl with creamy mole. Dos Toros is also coming soon to Chinatown at the corner of 7th and G streets NW in an old EagleBank branch site.

Arlington’s rotating rooftop destination is back

After a long pandemic hiatus, Skydome—Arlington’s sole spinning restaurant sporting 360-degree views of the D.C. skyline and Potomac—recently reopened atop the DoubleTree by Hilton Crystal City Hotel. Honey harvested from the rooftop apiary works its way into a smoked “Evening Thyme” cocktail and the glaze for a pork chop tomahawk. Other dishes from its new chef Klaus Happel include grilled octopus, green curry hummus, truffle mushroom pizza, and a wagyu burger.

The sky-high view at Skydome.
Dishes by executive chef Klaus Happel.
Deb Lindsey

LA success story Dave’s Hot Chicken sets D.C. opening date

Dave’s Hot Chicken debuts its first D.C. store on Friday, March 3 in Columbia Heights (3301 14th Street NW), with daily hours from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The chicken shack’s humble roots date back to 2017, when four childhood friends scrambled $900 in savings to pop up in an East Hollywood parking lot. Five years later, Dave’s has dozens of franchised locations nationwide and as far away as Dubai.

Order Old Fashioneds for a cause

Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey’s inaugural fundraiser for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) is on now through the month of March. To reach its $1 million goal, $1 from each Old Fashioned bought at participating area establishments–including Jack Rose Dining Saloon, Quill Bar at the Jefferson Hotel, and Tupelo Honey–will go towards the collegiate cause.

Restaurant week wire

“Savor Bethesda” Restaurant Week is now underway through Sunday, February 26. Restaurants offer $10, $20, and $35 deals for dine-in and takeout. And Vienna’s 2nd Annual Restaurant Week kicks off next week (Friday, March 3 through Sunday, March 12), with 50 sit-down and fast-casual eateries participating. Look for three-course lunch and brunch ($25) and dinner ($35-$40) menus, plus discounts on a la carte dishes.